New Google Device Injected Into Eyeball
Forget laser surgery. If Google has a say in it, we'll soon be injecting devices into our eyes to help improve our vision.
Competition among technology and new media companies is often characterized as a fight for eyeballs. It seems Google is taking the challenge rather literally.
According to a rather squirm-inducing report at Forbes, Google recently filed a patent for an electronic device that would be injected directly into the user's eyeball. As described in the patent filing, the "intra-ocular device" includes an electronic lens that is injected within a fluid which solidifies after application.
The electronic devices then attaches to the eye's lens capsule, the membrane that keeps the eyeball under tension. It gets squirmier: The eyeball device apparently includes various sensors, a radio transceiver, a battery and a storage component, in addition to the lens itself.
That all adds up to what is essentially an eyeball computer. An external device is designed to interface with the lens apparatus through radio signals, with the external device doing the necessary computational duties. Oh, there's also an "energy-harvesting antenna."
So what does the eyeball computer actually do? According to the patent abstract, the device "can restore a degree of accommodation to the eye that is related to existing mechanisms for controlling such accommodation, i.e., forces exerted by the eye via the lens capsule."
Yeah, I can't decode that either, but according to Forbes the device would essentially assist in the process of focusing light into the eye's retina. The whole endeavor appears to be a way of correcting poor vision. The temptation is to joke that Google just invented the contact lens, but I suspect there's more to it than that.
If you want to take a crack at decoding the patent filing yourself, go for it. After recent reports of biohacking adventures with eyeballs, I no longer have the stomach for this stuff. I like to keep my consumer technology on the outside of my corneas, but I'm old-fashioned that way.
Sept. 26, 2012 --
Genetic mutations and advanced technology can give comic book characters super-human abilities. And the same holds true in real life. Sure, humans don't yet have the ability to shape-shift or walk through walls or, as is the case with Wolverine, heal in seconds from just about any injury. But there are a few other super powers that are within practical reach (and no shortage of people claiming to possess super powers). While you wait for "The Wolverine" to hit theaters, with a release date set for summer 2013, why not explore some examples of super human powers and abilities in the real world?
Mindreading Charles Xavier, the leader of the X-Men, has the ability to read minds. While no human has so far demonstrably proven this ability, we have developed technology that could read minds. This mind-reading device was developed by researchers at the University of Utah to help speechless patients form words. Words can be read directly from patients' minds by attaching microelectrode grids to the surface of the brain and learning which signals mean which words, a development that will ultimately help such patients talk again.
Magnetism He's no Magneto, but according to his father, Bogdan, a 7-year-old Serbian boy, has the ability to attract metal objects to him. In fact, his "magnetism" appears to extend to non-metal objects as well. Of course, Bogdan's magnetism hasn't yet been scientifically proven. In fact, it's most likely that he's just a little overweight and oils in his skin make him sticky.
Teleportation Azazel, one of the antagonists in "X-Men: First Class," has the ability to teleport himself and others from one place to another. In reality, we haven't come close to that level of transport ability. However, scientists have successfully teleported light and data over a stretch of 10 miles.
Flight Flying is certainly the ultimate superpower. But until a radioactive pigeon bites you, we'll all just have to rely on technology to get us airborne. Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy has taken solo flight to the extreme with his custom-designed wingsuit. Recently, Rossy even took his jetpack for a spin over the Grand Canyon. Reaching speeds of 190 miles per hour, this jetman could keep up with some of the fastest fictional fliers.
Muscle Mass You wouldn't want to see this dog when she gets angry. Wendy may look like a pitbull but is in fact a whippet with a rare genetic mutation that makes this dog more muscular. Although this dog is gifted with twice the muscle mass as average-sized whippets, Wendy has the same size heart, lungs and other organs.
Iron Man OK, Tony Stark may be from a different franchise, but his Iron Man suit has become inspiration for military and tech manufacturers testing their own brands of exoskeleton suits. These real-life iron man suits have been designed for applications as mundane as climbing up a flight of stairs and as complex as protecting a soldier on a battlefield.
Echolocation Like the superhero Daredevil, Ben Underwood "sees" with his ears rather than his eyes by employing sonar. By emitting clicking noises with the back of his tongue, Kish is able to determine the distance and a rough outline of the shape of a nearby object. This allows him to navigate without the aid of a cane or seeing eye dog. Other blind people have also developed this ability, so this technique is not unique to Kish.
Soothsaying No one person can predict the future, but a recently developed software program used in Baltimore and Philadelphia is predicting which individuals on probation or parole are most likely to murder and to be murdered. Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. are using or planning on using the program, and the software has already helped reduce the murder rate in some police districts.
Bionic Limbs Losing a limb can certainly be a traumatic experience. But there is hope with bionic technology. Part robotics, part mind-control, this mechanical hand is actually being controlled by the mind of amputee Pierpaolo Petruzziello.